Buzzfeed Plans to Close its French Site: 14 Redundant Employees

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The logo of the news site BuzzFeed, which announced on June 7, 2018 the closing of its French version.

The US site Buzzfeed plans to close its French site and offices that includes 14 employees, announced employees on Thursday.

The US site Buzzfeed plans to close its French version of the site, after four years devoted to viral content and the publication of exclusive investigations, told several employees of the site this thursday.

The news was announced today, Thursday in Paris to the French team by Scott Lamb, head of international development of Buzzfeed, according to one of these sources. The editor-in-chief of the site Stéphane Jourdain regretted on Twitter a “sudden and completely unexpected decision”.

“Consultation process with Buzzfeed France”

A spokeswoman for Buzzfeed in the United States did not want to confirm the closure, but said that the US management had “initiated a consultation process with Buzzfeed France”, and that it “takes steps to review its activity on the French market “.

Created in 2006, BuzzFeed has become a major player in the world of online information thanks to certain viral content and the creation of “buzz”, as well as its ability to generate traffic via social networks . Its other European offices, in Spain and Germany, would not be threatened, according to a company official.

Launched in November 2013, “BuzzFeed France was in a period of investment and growth,” regretted one of the employees.“Traffic (internet) was up, the site has released its biggest scoops in 2018”, including a case of discrimination in a posh Parisian restaurant, documents on the presidential campaign of Marine Le Pen or a case of sexual harassment on a channel of TNT.

Unstable economic model

BuzzFeed had already announced at the end of 2017 that it would lay off about 100 people in the United States and Great Britain, the first tangible sign of the difficulties of the news site whose business model is entirely focused on advertising.

BuzzFeed France could be one of the first victims of the changes to Facebook, with a new thread focused more on loved ones and less on the media.

Several US media had announced in mid-November 2017, that BuzzFeed would have given up listing on short-term, even if the group has never confirmed its intention to be listed. According to the same media, the site’s inability to meet its ambitious growth targets would have scalded investors.

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